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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Old 28th Nov 2011, 10:55
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Sanus.. I fear you may be just a tad behind the drag curve.
There is already a potential Interim replacement contract (called GAP SAR) which is being competed as we write. Decision due in January we believe. This is a 4-5 year contract and if you look closely at the Ministerial statement, is to be replaced itself at it's end with the 2nd phase of the new long term procurement now announced. The competition timings for this second phase have yet to be announced.
The 1st phase of this new long term SAR policy and procurement is to replace all the present military Sea Kings with whatever wins. As the Ministerial statement says, this competition will have been decided on a 10 year contract by early 2013 to allow all the SAR
SKs to be replaced by the MoD's SDSR retirement date of March 2016.
At the end of both Long term competitions there will be only 10 SAR bases rather than 12 (Boulmer and Portland having closed)
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:02
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like Crab will be looking for a job.

I hope this thread will be a continue to be constructive one and not full of snide gloating comments addressed to him.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:23
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Am I right in thinking all mil exemptions for a civvy ATPL(H) cease as of 1.4.12.? And jobs in the new SAR world require IR's too, which means to get your IR done under the same auspices you need to book in Jan 2012 so that you can bolt it onto your ATPL exemptions? That'll be soon then...................
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 11:50
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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I hope this thread will be a continue to be constructive one and not full of snide gloating comments addressed to him.
Absolutely not. I mean if it had gone the other way we wouldn't have heard a squeak out of him would we? Anyhow Crab should be quite happy. He might now just be able to swing a SH conversion and a posting to somewhere warm and exciting.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:13
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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This seems an eminently sensible decision and one long overdue. One small niggle though, that looks to be a HUGE area with no cover stretching from Lossiemouth to Leconfield. According to the MCA's own statistics there are two areas of intense and three of medium activity in the middle of that large gap.

Thoughts?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:24
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I don't think the 10 bases are required to remain in their present locations so something could be acheived by moving the Leconfield asset North and the Lossie South to fill a gap?

Will the non-Military future continue to operate out of Military airfields or is the plan to move to suitable civilian airfields . One or two of Humberside, Teeside, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Inverness along the East coast for example and a number of other options for Chivenor, Valley, Wattisham etc.

It seems as good a time as any to re-jig the whole thing and start with a blank piece of paper.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:25
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regarding snide comments directed towards crab, I too agree that it should not descend to that level. In fact I find it abhorrent that a man of his standing, service and expertise should have to read anything of that type. Whatever happens, having specialists with his experience facing possible redundancy is sheer lunacy.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:34
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Move the bases

Moving the bases may well get better coverage, but when you have to pay all those new infrastructure costs for hangars, accomodation, landing fees, etc. your bid is going to be a non starter. Is it going to be direct funded by the DfT or are we looking at a 'son of PFI'?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 14:47
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I don't think the MOD are going to let the civvie operators use the existing facilities for nowt though, add to that the issues of using creaking infrastructure at Military airfields that may not have the required facilities.

Some movement is inevitable I think...
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 15:00
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SM and Flounder... you both have pertinent points from my perspective. No bidder will win by gold plating any solution or overdoing expenditure on infrastructure. However, to get 10 bases to work will need consideration on relocation of some bases as Flounder suggests notwithstanding the higher transit speeds from any of the new cabs. Clearly this will also be influenced by the customers's exact requirements for availability and response... It would be foolish to think at this stage that these will remain precisely the same as for the dead S**-H programme. Furthermore, the longer term costs of staying at any of the present bases will also need looking at given the great changes in MoDs plans since the SDSR. Of course, the final costs will also be affected by what is defined as accceptable infrastructure in these impecunious days... Don't think there will be many votes for more Leconfields or Lee on Solents around the place.
BTW - this is not another PFI...

Last edited by Tallsar; 28th Nov 2011 at 22:33.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 15:13
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I wonder if they ran a competition to select the new and catchy name for SAR-H?

Maybe there were irregularities in the process and a new winner was not selected?

Maybe they just couldn't be a*sed and decided it would be cheaper to keep the same letterheads and business cards.

SAR-H - the process formally known as ............. SAR-H.

If they are going to select new bases (possibly an expensive option) I hope they learn the lesson from moving SARF HQ to Valley ie if you want a well qualified and well motivated workforce, don't make them live in a 3rd world environment unless you pay them enough to compensate. Unlike the MoD you can't just order people to work there!

Unfortunately for my admirers, I won't be able to go SH in 2016 as I retire then However, a few more years flying thereafter in SAR-H is not entirely out of the question!
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 17:12
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Peeps

The competition is formally known as UK SAR Helicopters or Long SAR.

For all those of you genuinely interested in the competition rather than personalities ( fun as that might be for some ( or not!)).

There is all the detail both in the recently added news note on the DfT website and in the various downloadable docs obtainable at this link:

UK Search & Rescue Helicopter Service - Publications - Department for Transport

Let's hear it for Open Government!

Enjoy... There is much detail in there amongst the government jargon and civ service yuck speak. Some of the docs are of no relevance unless you are a potential bidder. The timescales are all in there too.

You will note that the whole service is to be replaced in ONE competition in 2 Bidding Lots of varying contract length. Effectively the 10 remaining bases (or nearby!) are to be split into the 2 Lots... Each Lot of 5 bases being driven by the need to carry a minimum of 8 casualties including 2 stretchers, or a minimum of 4 casualties including 2 stretchers. The higher capacity ac bases need to be able to go at least 200nm (250 from Stornoway), and 170 nm from the other 5 bases.

On with the debate!
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 17:37
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Our briefing notes still call it SAR-H which is what I expect 'UK SAR Helicopters' will be abbreviated to

Will the DfT be expecting the military to provide SMEs to assess technical compliance with the bids as happened before or will they take that task on themselves?

Interesting that they have forced a 2 type service rather than let the bidders suggest options.

it would appear that no current base is 'safe' since there is reference to 'in the vicinity of' current bases rather than specifying that any present bases must be retained.

Let us see what falls out of this process.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 19:16
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Dinosaurs can call it SAR-H if they wish.. But they will be recognised as such!:

Don't agree with your point Crab that the competition rules are trying to dictate 2 types, they are just making clear their minimum requirements and if anything, trying to broaden the competition, make it more open, and give it potential for more resilience by possibly having more than one aircraft type.

Industry has been engaged with the government since SAR-H's demise, and much of what I read suggests as much flexibility as is possible in the circumstances, including coping with wayward politicians.

As you say... All will emerge.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 19:41
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Interesting comments on here regarding possibly relocating some SAR-H assets to other bases. Newquay instead of Culdrose springs to mind, the latter for instance already has the Cornwall Air Ambulance and maintenance facilities for BIH plus their S-61s are going to operate out of NQY at least temporarily from next summer.

When Rescue 193 for instance is tasked in the wee small hours from CU, what typically is involved in terms of manpower apart of course from the flight crew? Would it typically be much less from a civvie provider? Naive questions, no doubt but I'm interested. The SAR crews at Culdrose and at Chivenor are held in the highest regard by the civvie population in the two Counties and I wish all concerned the very best in the changes which still lie some time ahead.
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 20:09
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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does ''or a minimum of 4 casualties including 2 stretchers'' mean that the AW-139 is out of the picture for SAR-H2.0?
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 21:28
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Crab: you certainly know how to win friends and influence people with comments like that about West Wales, don't you?
Perhaps you should have tried for an Uruguayan SAR job while you were out there?

Of course, as Tallstar commented, Industry constantly 'massage / coerce / lobby / nudge government (DfT) about the perfect scheme. That is why there is the option to offer more than one type. The old contract was a little less elastic in that regard.
In addition, versatility now will lend itself to a more joined up National Emergency Services Air Force in 2023 or thereabouts, with 92's, 169's, 135's, dotted all around the country.
"Industry" has already christened this foundling: "LONG SAR". Long live SAR(H).
Tobe honest, I thought it would be 9 bases and a 5 yr contract. That would come across as a cheaper product in the eyes of the taxpayer. [Smoke and mirrors]. But someone has pulled back from that fast ball.

The good news is that it's being run by civvies for civvies.....

teh he he..................................
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 22:31
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Tee Hee indeed TC... and just when I thought you were going to keep it clean!
I hope this thread doesn't relapse into that old mil vs civ argument that occupied most of the SAR-H one. Like it or not... And I know many out there don't like it, the dye is now cast.
The MoD hasn't enough cash even to keep some key combat capabilities going, so it's hold on UK SAR has gone in any shape or form.
Let's not forget too, that fully civilianised it may be in the future, but it's still a public service operation working to do what the UK Government requires it to do.
PS - lovely new hangar at Portland for sale.... Great sea views!
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Old 28th Nov 2011, 22:43
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Newquay instead of Culdrose springs to mind
I'd be surprised if this happened...why move the aircraft further from the open ocean and closer to Chivenor? Surely one of the benefits of the new order will be to remove the current crazy situation where the long-range aircraft has to pop into another SAR base for fuel on its way out to sea (ie Chiv passing Culdrose, or Lossie passing Stornoway). Your suggestion is akin to moving Stornoway to Plockton, or Sumburgh to the Orkneys! And I don't imagine that the new SAR aircraft will have too much in common with either the Air Ambulance or the S-61!

More likely IMHO is to move Lossie to Aberdeen...now that is an airfield with pedigree in operating large helicopters, and it also reduces somewhat the distance to Leconfield, given that Boulmer will be no more.

But we'll see...

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 28th Nov 2011 at 22:55.
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Old 29th Nov 2011, 07:51
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The other change being ushered in, is a new type of SAR. Because the majority of SAR was military, it had a military remit (downed mil pilots over the sea, predominantly (and yes, I know this wasn't ever the norm in reality)). Now the stats have been reviewed and other (mainly european) operators observed, I would suggest there is an appetite by the operators to push further afield. Hence we we will see a greater emphasis on in land SAR, large scale disasters and so on. Keep a close eye on who steps up to the plate and with which weapon(s) of choice
My money is on.......................Eurocopter.
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